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Topic: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover begins climbing Vera Rubin Ridge

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has begun the steep ascent of an iron-oxide-bearing ridge that’s grabbed scientists’ attention since before the car-sized rover’s 2012 landing.

“We’re on the climb now, driving up a route where we can access the layers we’ve studied from below,” said Abigail Fraeman, a Curiosity science-team member at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Researchers used the Mastcam on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover to gain this detailed view of layers in "Vera Rubin Ridge" from just below the ridge. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

Researchers used the Mastcam on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover to gain this detailed view of layers in “Vera Rubin Ridge” from just below the ridge. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft begins plunge into Saturn

 

Written by Dwayne Brown / Laurie Cantillo
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is on final approach to Saturn, following confirmation by mission navigators that it is on course to dive into the planet’s atmosphere on Friday, September 15th, 2017.

Cassini is ending its 13-year tour of the Saturn system with an intentional plunge into the planet to ensure Saturn’s moons – in particular Enceladus, with its subsurface ocean and signs of hydrothermal activity – remain pristine for future exploration.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft is shown heading for the gap between Saturn and its rings during one of 22 such dives of the mission's finale in this illustration. The spacecraft will make a final plunge into the planet's atmosphere on Sept. 15. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is shown heading for the gap between Saturn and its rings during one of 22 such dives of the mission’s finale in this illustration. The spacecraft will make a final plunge into the planet’s atmosphere on Sept. 15. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft makes final flyby of Saturn’s moon Titan

 

Written by Preston Dyches
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is headed toward its September 15th, 2017 plunge into Saturn, following a final, distant flyby of the planet’s giant moon Titan.

The spacecraft made its closest approach to Titan today at 12:04pm PDT (3:04pm EDT), at an altitude of 73,974 miles (119,049 kilometers) above the moon’s surface. The spacecraft is scheduled to make contact with Earth on September 12th at about 6:19pm PDT (9:19pm EDT).

Cassini made its final, distant flyby of Saturn's moon Titan on Sept. 11, which set the spacecraft on its final dive toward the planet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Cassini made its final, distant flyby of Saturn’s moon Titan on Sept. 11, which set the spacecraft on its final dive toward the planet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA observes Tropical Storm Irma moving North up Florida Peninsula

 

Written by Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured night-time look at Hurricane Irma as it weakened to a large tropical storm and the GOES East satellite provided a daytime view as the large storm continued moving north over Florida.

Irma made landfall twice on September 10th, 2017, first in the Florida Keys and then near Naples. The storm has now been downgraded to a tropical storm but could still cause significant impacts over Georgia and Alabama. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama was under a Tropical Storm Watch on September 11th.

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured this night-time infrared image of Hurricane Imra on Sept. 11, 2017 at 3:21 a.m. EDT (0721 UTC) located over central Florida. (NOAA/NASA Goddard Rapid Response Team)

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured this night-time infrared image of Hurricane Imra on Sept. 11, 2017 at 3:21 a.m. EDT (0721 UTC) located over central Florida. (NOAA/NASA Goddard Rapid Response Team)

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NASA and NOAA Satellites capture images of Hurricane Irma hitting Florida

 

Written by Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – As Hurricane Irma approached southern Florida, a NASA satellite captured a night-time image of the storm in the Florida Straits and identified where the strongest storms were occurring within Irma’s structure. NOAA’s GOES satellite provided a visible image at the time of Irma’s landfall in the Florida Keys.

As Irma moved along the coast of Cuba, the storm weakened to a Category 3 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

After moving away from the northern coast of Cuba, Irma passed over waters that are warmer than 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).

This visible image of Category 4 Hurricane Irma was taken on Sunday Sept. 10, 2017 at 9:25 a.m. EDT (1325 UTC) by the NOAA GOES East satellite as its eye approached the southwestern coast of Florida. Hurricane Jose is seen (right) near the Leeward Islands. (NASA/NOAA GOES Project)

This visible image of Category 4 Hurricane Irma was taken on Sunday Sept. 10, 2017 at 9:25 a.m. EDT (1325 UTC) by the NOAA GOES East satellite as its eye approached the southwestern coast of Florida. Hurricane Jose is seen (right) near the Leeward Islands. (NASA/NOAA GOES Project)

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NASA observes Hurricane Irma moving along Cuba’s Coast

 

Written by Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – Hurricane Irma was moving up Cuba’s northern coast when NASA’s Aqua satellite passed overhead.

A satellite instrument revealed coldest temperatures of powerful thunderstorm tops surrounding Irma’s eye and in a band of thunderstorms over the Florida Keys.

Infrared MODIS data showed two areas with very cold cloud top temperatures of strong thunderstorms.

This infrared image from the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite shows extremely cold temperatures (red) in thunderstorms surrounding the eye of Hurricane Irma as it traveled along Cuba's northern coast on Sept. 9 at 3:15 a.m. EDT (0715 UTC). (NASA/NRL)

This infrared image from the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite shows extremely cold temperatures (red) in thunderstorms surrounding the eye of Hurricane Irma as it traveled along Cuba’s northern coast on Sept. 9 at 3:15 a.m. EDT (0715 UTC). (NASA/NRL)

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NASA looks back at the accomplishments of the Cassini Spacecraft

 

Written by Preston Dyches
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – As the Cassini spacecraft nears the end of a long journey rich with scientific and technical accomplishments, it is already having a powerful influence on future exploration. In revealing that Saturn’s moon Enceladus has many of the ingredients needed for life, the mission has inspired a pivot to the exploration of “ocean worlds” that has been sweeping planetary science over the past decade.

“Cassini has transformed our thinking in so many ways, but especially with regard to surprising places in the solar system where life could potentially gain a foothold,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at Headquarters in Washington. “Congratulations to the entire Cassini team!”

Cassini's discoveries are feeding forward into future exploration of the solar system. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

Cassini’s discoveries are feeding forward into future exploration of the solar system. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

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NASA uses Satellites to gain different perspective on Hurricane Irma

 

Written by Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – Satellite imagery from NASA’s Aqua satellite and NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite have provided different data on the still Category 5 Hurricane Irma as it headed for the Turks and Caicos Islands.

On September 6th at 1:45pm EDT (1745 UTC) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a visible-light image of Hurricane Irma over the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico. The image revealed a clear eye with powerful bands of thunderstorms circling the eye.

On Sept. 6 at 1:45 p.m. EDT (1745 UTC) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible-light image of Hurricane Irma over the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico. (NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team)

On Sept. 6 at 1:45 p.m. EDT (1745 UTC) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a visible-light image of Hurricane Irma over the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico. (NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team)

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NASA’s Juno mission observes Jupiter’s Auroras acting differently than expected

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Scientists on NASA’s Juno mission have observed massive amounts of energy swirling over Jupiter’s polar regions that contribute to the giant planet’s powerful auroras – only not in ways the researchers expected.

Examining data collected by the ultraviolet spectrograph and energetic-particle detector instruments aboard the Jupiter-orbiting Juno spacecraft, a team led by Barry Mauk of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland, observed signatures of powerful electric potentials, aligned with Jupiter’s magnetic field, that accelerate electrons toward the Jovian atmosphere at energies up to 400,000 electron volts.

This is a reconstructed view of Jupiter's northern lights through the filters of the Juno Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph instrument on Dec. 11, 2016, as the Juno spacecraft approached Jupiter, passed over its poles, and plunged towards the equator. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Bertrand Bonfond )

This is a reconstructed view of Jupiter’s northern lights through the filters of the Juno Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph instrument on Dec. 11, 2016, as the Juno spacecraft approached Jupiter, passed over its poles, and plunged towards the equator. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Bertrand Bonfond )

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NASA and NOAA Satellites observe Hurricane Irma strengthen to Category 5

 

Written by Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – NASA and NOAA satellites have been providing valuable satellite imagery to forecasters at the National Hurricane Center, and revealed that Hurricane Irma has strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane on September 5th, 2017 around 8:00am EDT (1200 UTC).

On September 4th at (1:24pm EDT) 17:24 UTC, NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured this view of Hurricane Irma as a Category 4 hurricane approaching the Leeward Islands. The VIIRS instrument on the Suomi NPP satellite flew over Hurricane Irma on September 4th at 04:32 UTC (12:32am EDT) when it was a Category 3 hurricane.

The VIIRS instrument on the Suomi NPP satellite flew over Category 3 Hurricane Irma at approximately on Sept. 4 at 04:32 UTC (12:32 a.m. EDT). Cloud top temperatures were near -117.7F/-83.5C in the western quadrant. (UWM/SSEC/CIMSS, William Straka III)

The VIIRS instrument on the Suomi NPP satellite flew over Category 3 Hurricane Irma at approximately on Sept. 4 at 04:32 UTC (12:32 a.m. EDT). Cloud top temperatures were near -117.7F/-83.5C in the western quadrant. (UWM/SSEC/CIMSS, William Straka III)

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